Continuing to work with states to build new systems of health coverage

By Cindy Mann CMS Deputy Administrator and Director, Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services

CMS is committed to working in partnership with states in administering their Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Programs (CHIP) and to providing flexibility in pursuit of our shared goals.

Premium assistance has been a longstanding option in both Medicaid and CHIP and is one way to accomplish those shared goals.  CMS provided guidance in December of last year on how states might use these options to develop state-based solutions that meet both the state’s unique needs and requirements of the programs

In response to some questions that have been raised by states, today we are issuing some clarifying guidance.   Today’s Frequently Asked Questions explain the basic requirements that apply when a state chooses the premium assistance option and the guidelines we would apply when a state requests a waiver to implement premium assistance.  Under both approaches, individuals remain Medicaid beneficiaries and continue to be eligible for benefits and cost-sharing protections established by law.

As we review waiver proposals, HHS will consider factors that will impact cost effectiveness, such as those introduced by the creation of Health Insurance Marketplaces.

We remain committed to working with states and providing them with the flexibility and resources they need to build new systems of health coverage.  Premium assistance is simply one option, and we will continue to work with states on solutions that work best to meet shared goals.  We encourage states to come to us with their delivery system ideas, and look forward to continuing to work with states on these and other innovative approaches.

Premium Assistance FAQ

CMS Online Information Just Got Better

By Julie Green Bataille, Director, Office of Communications

We’re always looking for ways to make your experience with the Medicare, Medicaid, Children’s Health Insurance, and other health care programs better. Today, we’re expanding and enhancing our online presence at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS): we’re debuting a new look and feel for CMS.gov, and launching a brand-new site for the Medicaid program, Medicaid.gov.

These changes reflect what we’ve heard from you – our users – and respond to what you’ve said you want to be able to do on our site.  Here’s what you’ll find on the new CMS and Medicaid sites:

  • A significantly improved search engine that gets you to the information you’re looking for, fast.
  • More in-depth information about what we’re doing to implement the Affordable Care Act and other new initiatives, and details about how you can apply for new programs.
  • Up-to-date, real-time updates that reflect important developments and initiatives happening with CMS programs.
  • Medicaid program information that’s readily available, easy to find, and easy to use— and we’ll be continually looking for ways to enhance your experience on this site.
  • Easy-to-access links to Healthcare.gov, which will continue to be the primary site for consumer information.

While we’ve moved content around to make it easier to find, don’t worry that you’ll lose access to any of the current Medicare and Medicaid information you rely on now. We’re launching an archive version of each of our websites too, so that historic information can remain online without adding clutter to our primary sites.

We think these changes are a good first step to improving our online presence and making information more accessible for all the patients, partners, providers, States, advocates and others who interact with our programs. However, this is just the first step — we have plans for continuous, ongoing improvements.

Take a look around at our www.cms.gov and www.Medicaid.gov, and let us know what you think. We’d like to use your feedback to help drive the direction of future website improvements.

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